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The Deep Convection and Tropical Cyclones Research Group is led by Professor Edward Zipser and Research Assistant Professor Adam Varble in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Utah. Our research focuses on better understanding and predicting the life cycles of deep convective systems and tropical cyclones around the world using aircraft in situ measurements, ground-based and space borne remote sensing observations, and multi-scale model simulations. Current research is focusing on:

  • satellite retrieval of extreme rain rates,
  • connections between rainfall event characteristics and large-scale environmental conditions,
  • processes that lead to lightning production in oceanic storm systems,
  • improvement of microphysics parameterizations and simulations of deep convection,
  • environmental controls on deep convective initiation and upscale growth of the convective systems,
  • properties of high ice water conditions with low radar reflectivity that are hazardous to aircraft and the processes that produce them, and
  • improving detection of potentially hazardous conditions for aircraft using radar observations,
  • processes that differentiate between intensifying and non-intensifying tropical cyclones.

To obtain requisite measurements for the above listed research, our group actively participates in large multi-country, multi-agency field campaigns around the world. Recent examples include the NASA-supported CPEX campaign in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, and the DOE-supported CACTI and NSF-supported RELAMPAGO campaigns in Argentina. Upcoming field campaigns include the NASA-supported CPEX-AW field campaign based in Cape Verde.